Why I didn’t write
Yesterday was the first day this year that I haven’t written. Instead, I sat in an Asda petrol station.
We’d taken a quick trip up to Bristol to get a filing cabinet. I’ve needed one for a while, and when I cleaned my office earlier the need became more urgent. We looked around, in various towns across the South West. (Well, Glastonbury, Bridgwater, and Weston, but “various towns” sounds better.)
After another unsuccessful trip out in Weston, where I refused to pay £50 for a two-fucking-drawer-piece-of-shit-filing-crapping-cabinet, I came home and resigned myself to an online order. Then I checked Makro. Of course, they had one. Two drawers, the right height, and only £25. Plus, I could get some of the coffee syrup that I wanted.
We headed out.
We got there, realising on the motorway we were a bit low on gas. So after Makro, we headed towards Morrisons. Only we couldn’t find it, but — alas!! — here was an Asda petrol station.
Only before that, outside the DFS, was a puddle. Not a puddle. That doesn’t give it the power it had. Driving through it created waves that arced above the car. It was a small lake. And it killed our car.
There was a bit of smoke as we pulled up to the pump. £20 in, ready to drive to the little till kiosk. Nothing. Chugchugchugchugchugchug. Chugchugchugchugchugchugchugchug.
Push the car under the cover. Chug. Open hood. Look. Nothing clearly obviously wrong, but a whole lot of moisture.
Call AA. Chugchugchug.
Push the car back. Wait. Wait. Chughchugchug. Wait.
Adam soaking, I offered to hobble across the little road to get some McDinner. We sat in the middle of the petrol station entry, waiting.
We moved the car again, over to the HGV only area. We waited some more.
Just before 9, the truck pulled up. For over an hour, the man fought with the rain, the pooling petrol, the cold. There was no point.
At a certain point, he offered all he could. He’d tow us to the main Asda car park, where we could let the car dry out overnight. The other option was doing an on-the-spot upgrade of our coverage, which would allow him to tow us home for the small price of £100. £50 for the upgrade, and another £50 for being in the middle of a rescue. When AA has you by the balls, they make the most of it. Possibly shove a shifty shovel up your ass, rip an ear off, and stomp on your toes, too. Just because they can.
So that began our first visit to the Junction 17 Asda. We made for the toilets (flagrantly ignoring the tensa-barriers and dimmed lights of the cafe area). Then we wandered. Adam called his parents and they were able to come collect us. We told the security guard what was going on, and waited with our juice boxes.
Arriving home after midnight, we had been gone for over six hours. But we had a filing cabinet.
Today started with a trip back to the Asda car park. We knew it was 50/50 as to whether it would start. It didn’t. Chugchugchugchugchug.
We got a coffee and called RAC. Only an hour, we were told. Another coffee and it’d be over.
Until the call back. A bit of a delay. Be there before 2:30. A few more coffees. Another long wander. He got there and started trying to suss the problem. With less rain than the night before, and a lot more light, there was more to see, more to test, more to attempt.
He went off for parts, and we had another coffee.
He put in the part and it seemed to work a bit better. But still a chugchug. More petrol, a few more chugs, and finally, just before 4 pm, we were ready to go.
22 hours later, we were home from Makro. And tired. Very, very tired.
So I didn’t write. I did find out that the McDonalds isn’t a bad walk, and the Asda toilets are cleaner at 11 pm than they are at 11 am. I learned that the Cribbs Asda has a really good ‘ethnic food’ section, especially compared to that of Weston’s branch. I decided that I adapt to new places pretty well, and that my mind treated this situation the same way it would if I had to stay in a hotel for a week. I knew the best places to go and how far they were. It was the same way, in my teens, I found the better place for tacos in Encinitas.
It was travel, not a crisis. We passed the time, and did the best we could. And now, we rest.